– Aid pledges –
The Nepalese rescuers were being joined by hundreds of foreign aid workers from countries including China, India and the United States.
Hospitals have been overwhelmed, with morgues overflowing and medics working flat out to cope with an endless stream of victims suffering trauma or multiple fractures.
Pledging $10 million in relief to help the victims, US Secretary of State John Kerry said he had been shocked by the “gut-wrenching” images of the death and destruction.
Australia said Tuesday it was raising its aid to $4.7 million and sending a military plane to bring relief supplies and evacuate its stranded citizens.
But the lack of space at the country’s only international airport was hampering efforts to bring in relief by air.
Japan’s International Cooperation Agency said a disaster relief team was making a third attempt Tuesday to enter Kathmandu, after being twice turned away from a crowded airport on Monday.
The quake is a serious blow to the economy of one of the world’s poorest countries, already reeling from a decade-long civil war that ended in 2006.
Nepal and the rest of the Himalayas, where the Indian and Eurasia tectonic plates collide, are particularly prone to earthquakes.
A 6.8 magnitude quake hit eastern Nepal in August 1988 killing 721 people, and a magnitude 8.1 quake killed 10,700 people in Nepal and India in 1934.